by Al Sacco

Study Finds Only 1 in 5 Global Workers “Engaged”; Senior Managers Key to Improvement

Oct 22, 20072 mins
CIOIT Leadership

Nearly 40 percent of workers worldwide are partly to fully disengaged, according to professional services firm Towers Perrin.

Just 21 percent of global workers are “engaged,” or willing to go the extra mile to help their organizations succeed, and senior leadership isn’t doing enough to increase that engagement, according to a recent survey of some 90,000 workers in 18 countries.

Furthermore, nearly 40 percent of workers worldwide are partly to fully disengaged, according to the Towers Perrin Global Workforce Study, conducted by professional services company Towers Perrin. The firm claims the report is the largest ever of its kind.

The study also found that organizations with higher levels of staff engagement perform better financially and are more likely to retain key employees than companies with low engagement levels. Specifically, Towers Perrin found that the organizations with the highest engagement levels collectively increased annual operating income by 19 percent and boosted earnings per share 28 percent year-over-year.

Perhaps most relevant to CIOs and other executives is the fact that organizations themselves–specifically, senior leaders–have the most significant impact on staff engagement.

“One of the study’s key finding is that the organization itself is the most powerful influencer of employee engagement,” said Julie Gebauer, managing director and leader of Towers Perrin’s Workforce Effectiveness consulting practice, in a press release. “Personal values and work experience factors have less of an impact on engagement than what the company does–particularly the extent to which employees believe senior management is sincerely interested in their well-being.”

“People’s views about the company are also shaped more by what senior leaders say and do than by what the individuals’ direct bosses say or do,” Gebauer said.

Towers Perrin identified three areas that CIOs and other senior leaders need to focus on to increase engagement:

  1. Senior leaders must demonstrate inspiration, vision and commitment to their organizations and individual staffers.

  2. High-level managers need to provide a better vision of why employees should want their organizations to succeed–in other words, “what’s in it for them.”

  3. Staffers want to work for organizations that are seen as leaders in their industries, and senior managers must work to differentiate their firms from others in order to draw motivated and engaged workers.

More information on the Towers Perrin Global Workforce Study is available on the company’s website.